The Outcome Document of The Fifteenth Annual Session of Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS)

Tuesday, 8 December, 2020

The Outcome Document of The Fifteenth Annual Session of Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS)

The year 2020 has led the world into a decade of action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the UN calls for a networked and inclusive multilateralism which will not only allow the outpouring of global solidarity to combat COVID-19 crisis, but help overcome the challenges of our current era. 2020 also marks the 15th anniversary of Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS) which has been dedicating to make sustainable cities and human settlements for all. GFHS has also issued a statement to extend its strongest support to the latest report launched by the United Nations ―Policy Brief: COVID-19 in an Urban World‖ (hereinafter ―Policy Brief‖).

Due to the unprecedented challenges created by COVID-19, human society is being reshaped. Cities remain the key battleground to strive for economic growth and sustainable development. But on the pathways towards a sustainable future, the first and foremost agenda is to ensure that cities are safer, securer and healthier, that cities become increasingly resilient to the pandemic, climate change, and various ecological crises, and that cities are closely linked to rural areas and nature to enable interactions in a positive and synergistic way. In the process, resilient cities need to be put in a better position to protect and enhance people's lives, secure development gains, foster an investible environment, and drive positive change. Only by maintaining ecological integrity and reinforcing urban resilience can we foresee a future that is safe, inclusive, prosperous, and sustainable.

Therefore, with the objective of undertaking a timely and effective opportunity to implement the Policy Brief, the 15th Annual Session of Global Forum on Human Settlements was successfully held in a virtual format on October 15-16, 2020 to address the theme ―Post-Pandemic Recovery and Transformation: Resilient Cities, Healthy Planet‖. This year’s forum was supported by a record lineup of 24 authoritative organizations, including 10 UN agencies and the Asian Development Bank. Some 100 distinguished speakers and discussants contributed to the in-depth discussions and analysis on a range of challenges - a public health crisis, ecological disruption, and climate change that cities have had to wrestle with so as to embark on a path to sustainable development.

The two-day forum has reached out to more than 100,000 professional audiences through live streaming and participation. The participants have realized the importance and urgency of taking decisive action to halt the destruction of nature and tackle the imminent threats that undermine the health of ecosystems and disrupt the global climate, through a greener recovery and transformation towards sustainability.

Through the two-day deliberations, we, the participants of the 15th Annual Session of Global Forum on Human Settlements, acknowledge the issues and points recommended as follows and deliver a strong call for accelerating actions in scaling up sustainable development practices and innovations, thereby making cities and communities safer, more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable, and achieving our vision of a healthy planet upon which all life depends to survive and thrive.

Download the full outcome document with the attached PDF